Home makeover: ‘I upcycled almost everything!’

With a love for eccentric interiors and a knack for giving new life to homewares, Hayley Brooke gave her home a glam DIY makeover

‘I chose Farrow & Ball’s Manor House Gray for the living 
room walls to balance the rich, warm tones of my 
furnishings and accessories,’ Hayley says

Hayley Brooke combined her love of eccentric interiors with a natural knack for DIY in order to transform her home into a glamorous oasis.

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Here, she shares her home makeover story…

My story…

I had very specific requirements when searching for this house as my daughter, Summer, is a wheelchair user. Originally, we were looking for a bungalow so that our entire living area could be on one level.

‘I created my own wall art with huge, ornate gold frames and velvet fabric in the same shades as my sofas,’ Hayley says
‘I created my own wall art with huge, ornate gold frames and velvet fabric in the same shades as my sofas,’ Hayley says

But, however hard we tried, we couldn’t find a bungalow with the space needed for bedrooms, a wet room, a storage cupboard for Summer’s equipment and supplies, plus a hallway big enough for the wheelchair.

In the end, we just had to start viewing houses and this one was a lucky find.

Playful animal motifs, sculptures and trinkets can be found throughout Hayley’s home
Playful animal motifs, sculptures and trinkets can be found throughout Hayley’s home

Welcome to my home…

A bit about me I’m Hayley Brooke. I live with my children, Summer, 16, Isabella, 14, and Chase, 10. 

Where I live My home is a four-bedroom property in Rayleigh, Essex, which was built in the ’60s. I’ve lived in this house for 11 years. 

Hayley Brooke

I loved the garden and surroundings, but the house itself was very old-fashioned, and it was further out in Essex than I would have preferred. But it was also much bigger than anywhere else we’d viewed, so I could quite easily see past its flaws.

‘I wanted the hallway to be an extension of the house and give guests a taste of my interior style the second they walk through the front door. I replaced the flooring with the same dark wood used throughout the house and painted the walls light grey. I hung an amazing mural depicting Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting, and lots of framed photos of my family for a warm, friendly welcome’
‘I wanted the hallway to be an extension of the house and give guests a taste of my interior style the second they walk through the front door. I replaced the flooring with the same dark wood used throughout the house and painted the walls light grey. I hung an amazing mural depicting Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting, and lots of framed photos of my family for a warm, friendly welcome’

The house still needed a lot of work in order to make it comfortable and easily accessible for Summer.

We had an architect draw up renovation plans and the building work was completed before we moved in.

‘We had a new kitchen fitted by Magnet, and new French doors leading into the conservatory,’ Hayley explains. ‘Now, it’s so much more spacious and streamlined.’ Not one to miss an opportunity for bold colour, Hayley went for a door frame in a bubblegum pink
‘We had a new kitchen fitted by Magnet, and new French doors leading into the conservatory,’ Hayley explains. ‘Now, it’s so much more spacious and streamlined.’ Not one to miss an opportunity for bold colour, Hayley went for a door frame in a bubblegum pink

We had the wall between the kitchen and the front room taken down to create one large, open-plan space, had doors widened throughout and a wet room installed too.

A bit more about my home…

What I wanted to change We needed the layout to be reconfigured. My daughter, Summer, is a wheelchair user, so we needed doorways widened and rooms knocking through.

How I made it my own I put my eccentric glamour stamp on this house with an abundance of colour, grand furnishings and a lot of texture. 

My favourite part The location. It’s quiet and peaceful here, and we’re lucky enough to have a lovely garden and lots of beautiful nature surrounding us.

Hayley Brooke

Once the building work was complete, I set about making my mark on the interior. I had wild ideas for schemes: fun colour combinations, beautiful textures and glamorous furnishings.

‘I scored the dining table and seats from a second-hand website,’ Hayley says. ‘I upcycled them myself with metallic gold paint and velvet fabric, which I used to recover the chairs’
‘I scored the dining table and seats from a second-hand website,’ Hayley says. ‘I upcycled them myself with metallic gold paint and velvet fabric, which I used to recover the chairs’

Happily, I discovered that I could achieve almost anything I set my mind to, whether it’s painting walls or upcycling pieces of furniture. My interiors are ever-changing, and I’m constantly finding new techniques to try and ideas to experiment with.

I don’t think it will ever be finished but creating a happy family home is what makes me happy.

Kitchen

‘We had the wall between the kitchen and front room knocked down before we moved in to create a more fluid and open-plan living space. I also had French doors installed, which lead into the conservatory, and allow for an easy flow throughout the ground floor of the house. Before, the kitchen was bright red and very dated, so it needed a complete overhaul.

‘I found the mannequin legs in a junkyard and decided to spray-paint them gold to create a fun feature,’ says Hayley. ‘The striped monochrome wallpaper was a bargain buy from Wilko’
‘I found the mannequin legs in a junkyard and decided to spray-paint them gold to create a fun feature,’ says Hayley. ‘The striped monochrome wallpaper was a bargain buy from Wilko’

‘I had an entirely new kitchen fitted, settling on white, handleless units with curved corner cupboards and wooden tops, then spiced up the space – in true Hayley fashion – with striped monochrome wallpaper and neon trim.’

Living room

‘Before, the living room – much like the rest of the house – was plain, dark and drab. It was essentially a box, without any character or defining features. It had dark brown doors and a muddy brown carpet. To make it feel brighter, I replaced the French doors with white ones, laid dark wooden flooring and painted the walls in a dove grey hue.

‘I chose Farrow & Ball’s Manor House Gray for the living room walls to balance the rich, warm tones of my furnishings and accessories,’ Hayley says
‘I chose Farrow & Ball’s Manor House Gray for the living room walls to balance the rich, warm tones of my furnishings and accessories,’ Hayley says

‘I furnished it with pieces that I sourced second-hand and spruced up using chalk paints and plush fabrics. I love the whole room; it’s a true representation of my eccentric glamour style, but the pink sofa has to be my absolute favourite feature.’

Conservatory

‘I didn’t love the décor in the conservatory when we first moved in. Like the other rooms, it had dark brown, plastic windows and terracotta tiled flooring – not my style at all.

‘The banana leaf wallpaper was bought from a seller on Etsy called Wallpapers 4 Beginners. The amazing print of the Queen is by Mr Brainwash. I framed it and gave it pride of place alongside my favourite piece: the zebra,’ Hayley says
‘The banana leaf wallpaper was bought from a seller on Etsy called Wallpapers 4 Beginners. The amazing print of the Queen is by Mr Brainwash. I framed it and gave it pride of place alongside my favourite piece: the zebra,’ Hayley says

‘I painted the windows and the exposed brick wall white for a fresh feel, laid black and white vinyl on the floor, and hung wallpaper with a banana leaf print for much-needed vibrancy and character.

‘I painted the exposed brick wall white and laid monochrome vinyl flooring,’ Hayley says. ’The furniture was all bought preloved before I upcycled it’
‘I painted the exposed brick wall white and laid monochrome vinyl flooring,’ Hayley says. ’The furniture was all bought preloved before I upcycled it’

‘I painted the door frames pink and black so that the scheme feels fun and finished, and furnished with preloved pieces that I revamped to suit the style of my interiors.’

Master bedroom

‘It was important to me that my bedroom felt like the ultimate sanctuary and the perfect place to retreat to, full of things that make me happy.

‘I’ve had this bed frame for years,’ Hayley says. ‘It was a cream colour when I first got it, and the headboard was just plain wood. I decided to paint it gold and upholster the headboard in velvet fabric for a luxe look’
‘I’ve had this bed frame for years,’ Hayley says. ‘It was a cream colour when I first got it, and the headboard was just plain wood. I decided to paint it gold and upholster the headboard in velvet fabric for a luxe look’

‘When we bought the house, the master was magnolia and had a cream carpet. I painted the whole room – including the ceiling – green, my favourite colour, and all of the furniture and accessories gold to continue my glamour theme.’

Hayley painted her entire bedroom – ceiling included – in her favourite colour, green, which she had mixed to the perfect shade at B&Q
Hayley painted her entire bedroom – ceiling included – in her favourite colour, green, which she had mixed to the perfect shade at B&Q

Bathroom

‘The bathroom was all black with a shower squished in the corner.’

To give the tallboy a refresh, Hayley covered it with decorative sticky- back vinyl and painted the drawer fronts gold. She gave the door a lick of pink paint to reinforce the Beverly Hills theme
To give the tallboy a refresh, Hayley covered it with decorative sticky-back vinyl and painted the drawer fronts gold. She gave the door a lick of pink paint to reinforce the Beverly Hills theme

‘It looked very dated and wasn’t very well functioning either. I had a new suite installed, including a roll-top bath, fitted the same black and white vinyl flooring and banana leaf print wallpaper as in the conservatory, and hung white shutters on the window.

‘I bought the bathroom suite from Bathstore,’ Hayley says. ‘Originally, the tub was white, but I decided to jazz it up using pink and black paints’
‘I bought the bathroom suite from Bathstore,’ Hayley says. ‘Originally, the tub was white, but I decided to jazz it up using pink and black paints’
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‘I was going for a Beverly Hills-inspired space, so I framed prints of the hotel and added lots of pink touches.’

This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Home Style magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?